It certainly has been a rough spring due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the various mandates that have been put in place in our state and across the nation. Hopefully things will start to improve as we move into summer.
Every March the Board is required to review our documents. This mainly involves our “Policies, Procedures, and Rules” document. The 2020 proposed updates have been posted to the web site for all members to review and provide feedback. The proposed changes are highlighted in red. Click here to review them.
One key addition was how we as an organization deal with collecting past due dues and fines. Our Ranch attorney advised the Board to add specific details to our PPR document based on the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act or CCIOA, which allows the organization to turn the matter over to our attorney for collection if all previous efforts to resolve the situation fail. If a matter is turned over to the attorney, the Board is no longer involved and the attorney would then take any legal action necessary to collect the monies owed as well as all legal and attorney fees. This would only be done in extreme cases when a substantial amount of back due dues are involved.
Another change that goes along with the collection of dues is how late fees are assessed. No longer will they be compounded quarterly but rather when they are paid will only be charged a 20% annual late fee. The goal is to get every member up to date on dues and not make it seem impossible to do. As a reminder, any annual dues not paid by March 30 of that year are considered late and will be assessed the 20% late fee.
One area that the board has received a significant number of complaints from members over the past several years has to do with camping on unimproved vacant lots. As a reminder, the entire subdivision is zoned as residential. Camping has been traditionally allowed and can be very beneficial to lot owners if or when they decide to build a home on their lot. However the ranch was never intended to be a campground like CORA. Additionally the County has been in the process of developing and signing in to law a new camping ordinance that would put additional limitations on camping on unimproved lots. The ordinance allows the sheriff’s department to issue citations which can be quite expensive. The Board has updated the camping section of the PPR’s to mirror to some degree the new ordinance, in particular limiting the number of camping units to no more than two per lot and only lot owners and/or their non-paying invited guests may camp on a vacant lot. For clarification, a lot owner or lot owners are those whose name(s) are on the registered property deed.
Regarding fines for violations of rules or covenants, the board has increased the fines significantly. First notice of a violation will be a warning letter as it currently is; second violation will be a warning letter and a $150 fine (previously it was $25). Third and subsequent violations will be a warning letter and an additional $250 fine (previously it was $50). The hope is that by increasing the fines, violators will appreciate the need to follow agreed on rules
Another area that the board receives many complaints on every year has to do with lots, either vacant or improved, that have accumulated non registered, inoperative vehicles and trailers as well as an exorbitant amount of trash and junk. Our “By-Laws” as well as our “Policies and Procedures and Rules” address this issue. There are also Park County LUR’s and ordinances that address these issues. These rules are in place to protect the health, safety, and well being of all of us as well as protect our investments. The board can only do so much to address these concerns. The hope is that lot owners who are notified of these violations will be willing to work with the board to correct these issues and avoid substantial fines or, worst case scenario, legal action. Our goal is not to turn the ranch into a highly restrictive place to live, but one that we can all enjoy and be proud of.
Mark Wefler, secretary